In her 5 December article in The New York Times, “For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else,” cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth discusses the growing threat of ransomware in the USA. Ransomware is a type of malware that takes your computer hostage, freezing it until you pay up. How does this Web kidnapping work exactly? Ms. Perlroth explains:
In the past year, hundreds of thousands of people across the world have switched on their computers to find distressing messages alerting them that they no longer have access to their PCs or any of the files on them. The messages claim to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some 20 other law enforcement agencies across the globe or, most recently, Anonymous, a shadowy group of hackers. The computer users are told that the only way to get their machines back is to pay a steep fine. And, curiously, it’s working. The scheme is making more than $5 million a year…
Ransomware is installed on your computer after you visit a compromised Web site – you don’t even have to click on anything, the virus just hops into your hard drive like a flea jumping from one dog to another. Even after you cough up the “ransom,” however, the virus remains on the computer, which means you’ll need to pay a computer technician to wipe the ransomware from your hard drive. Researchers at Symantec tracked one gang that attempted the infection of more than a half-million computers within the space of three weeks.
Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner (WVS) is designed to safeguard your website from ransomware and other threats by discovering dangerous vulnerabilities on your website, including SQL injection and cross site scripting, before hackers do. Acunetix WVS provides users with an extensive feature-set of both automated and manual penetration testing tools, so security analysts can undertake a complete vulnerability assessment and fix detected threats. Acunetix clients include corporations and organizations such as Bank of China, the US Army, NASA, Telstra, Fujitsu, the US Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Justice and the US Air Force, among many others.
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